IBS Institute for Basic Science


HumAN Lab (Human Affective Neuroscience Laboratory)



The overarching goal of our research is to understand the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underpin how we experience our own emotions and evaluate the emotions of others. Our lab examines how different aspects of affective information are encoded, manipulated, and integrated in the brain. We also investigate individual differences in such processes on both behavioral and neural levels, and their implications for mental health. We combine experimental psychology, multimodal neuroimaging (fMRI, dMRI), and computational tools to answer research questions pertaining to affective science.


Selected Recent Publications


1. Kim, M. J., Mattek, A. M., & Shin, J. (2020). Amygdalostriatal coupling underpins positive but not negative coloring of ambiguous affect. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 20, 949-960.

2. ​Kim, M. J., Farber, M. J., Knodt, A. R., & Hariri, A. R. (2019). Corticolimbic circuit structure moderates an association between early life stress and later trait anxiety. Neuroimage: Clinical, 24, 102050.

3. Kim, M. J., Mattek, A. M., Bennett, R. H., Solomon, K. M., Shin, J., & Whalen, P.J. (2017). Human amygdala tracks a feature-based valence signal embedded within the facial expression of surprise. Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 9510-9518.

4. Kim, M. J., Shin, J., Taylor, J. M., Mattek, A. M., Chavez, S. J., & Whalen, P. J. (2017). Intolerance of uncertainty predicts increased striatal volume. Emotion, 17, 895-899.

5. Kim, M. J., Gee, D. G., Loucks, R. A., Davis, F. C., & Whalen, P. J. (2011). Anxiety dissociates dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity with the amygdala at rest. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 1667-1673.

6. Kim, M. J., & Whalen, P. J. (2009). The structural integrity of an amygdala-prefrontal pathway predicts trait anxiety. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 11614-11618.